Police Patrol Officers

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Also known as:  Border Guard, Border Patrol Officer, Constable, Cop, Deputy Sheriff, Highway Patrol Officer, Motorcycle Police, Mounted Police, Park Police, Patrol Officer

ABOUT POLICE PATROL OFFICER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Police patrol officers are the backbone of local law enforcement. The cop on the beat has been a mainstay of police department policy for decades, but officers today are far better trained and equipped than their predecessors. Whether on foot, on wheels, or on horseback, the job of patrol officers i ...
s to be alert for any threat to public safety. This can mean simply enforcing traffic laws, helping a lost child, or responding to an unfolding and highly dangerous situation.

Police officers are licensed to carry guns - with that comes great responsibility. Officers must pass rigorous academic psychological exams to prove they have what it takes. Even in life-threatening situation, officers need to stay calm, think clearly, and make good on the spot judgments.

While Hollywood makes police work seem constantly exciting, most patrol officers will tell you the job is more routine than adrenaline rush. Almost every aspect of police work requires patience, and paperwork. Every incident must be written up in detail. These reports are used in legal actions and investigations and are often the basis for officers' testimony in court.

Officers are expected to be physically fit. Applicants generally must be drug-free and have no felony convictions on their record. While a high school diploma is required, a college degree is preferred. Police patrol officers are true public servants who conscientiously and courageously serve and protect.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Act as official escorts, such as when leading funeral processions or firefighters.
Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
Inform citizens of community services and recommend options to facilitate longer-term problem resolution.
Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.
Relay complaint and emergency-request information to appropriate agency dispatchers.
Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
Process prisoners, and prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
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